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Neglect of care; an act to which blame or censure is attached. Fault implies any Negligence, error, or defect of judgment.

Fault has been held to embrace a refusal to perform an action that one is legally obligated to do, such as the failure to make a payment when due.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


one of the central concepts in the law of tort or delict. A legal system can look at harmful conduct in different ways. It can focus on the interest infringed and declare it a tort to occupy another's property, for example. However, this produces results that certainly cause moral problems and thus eventually cause legal problems. So where a person inadvertently infringes another's interest, the law has to decide whether to penalize or not. Generally, the more advanced a legal system, the more it is likely to take this into account. Thus, Roman law achieved this result in the early years of the first millennium and English law began to do so towards the end of the second. In the 19th century especially, the proposition began to be put in reverse, it being said that there would be no liability without fault, fault being necessary but not necessarily sufficient to establish liability. Fault had the benefit of comprising most existing categories of case where the plaintiff deliberately harmed the defendant, but it also allowed cases where the defendant had been careless to be included. Fault became associated with intentional wrongdoing or recklessness, which was its equivalent, and also with certain instances of carelessness.

In civilian systems, fault in this sense of exhibiting less than reasonable care would be sufficient to establish a prima facie case but would be subject to limitation in the scope of liability in the basis of the notion of remoteness. English law (and ironically) Scots law took a different course with the decision in Donoghue v. Stevenson 1932 SC (HL) 31, which established that a lack of care would constitute fault but only where there was a pre-existing duty of care. This duty could be found in precedent or arise from the relationship between the parties. Fault became much more a technical concept after that, and its moral aspect diminished. An objective approach to some aspects of the investigation into liability was a further blow to any moral approach. Fault in the later part of the 20th century fell out of favour as a mechanism for achieving many of the things that tort or delict did. Exhortation of citizens is better done through penalties inflicted through an efficient criminal justice system backed by an organized police force. The existence of an insurance industry can make it economically efficient to redirect liability in the direction of the person who is most likely to be able to acquire insurance cover at lowest cost, thus ensuring that injured persons seeking compensation are actually compensated without recourse to general taxation or charity. Statutory strict liability is beginning to appear in the interstices of the law so that fault may become a safety net for cases outside strict liability.

Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Lee, "Using SVM based method for equipment fault detection in a thermal power plant," Computers in Industry, vol.
This is positive from a fault detection point of view.
A more in-depth study of the reliability and fault detection capabilities of the sensors being used should be convenient when designing a FDI system for a particular application, as in some cases the device itself may provide useful information for its own fault diagnosis that should be exploited.
Table 1 shows that the computational overhead for outlier is clearly less than for the fault detection method.
Motivated by these findings, this work proposes a framework which uses ANNs for interrouter link fault detection. Integrated hardware-based ANNs are used, and, based on the appropriate ANN training and the received link utilization data in discrete interval times, intelligently detect which router might present fault.
Capolino, "Advances in electrical machine, power electronic, and drive condition monitoring and fault detection: state of the art," IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, vol.
In this work, 300 samples for each HVDC condition were prepared to evaluate the fault detection performance.
H Feature extraction-enhanced wavelet transform computation for high impedance fault detection" International Journal of Computer Consumer and Control (IJ3C) 2(1): 18-25 (2013).
Generally speaking, there is a main approach with two steps for online fault detection & diagnosis of BW: the first step is to extract the fault data from the weigher sensors, and the second step is to classify the fault pattern based on the extracted fault data in the previous step [2].

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